Powerleague research reveals lack of daily movement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
Regional lockdowns and change of clocks set to make matters worse
Tier 3 areas physical activity is already well below target

Research commissioned by the UK’s leading small-sided football operator, Powerleague, has found that Britons’ average daily step count is suffering during lockdown, with people walking a mere 5,823 steps a dayon average, despite the recommended target of 10,000 minimum.

The data adds further evidence of the concerning negative physical and mental side-effects that millions of people are suffering during the current restrictions. With regional lockdowns increasing nationally, as well as a decrease in hours of daylight as we move into winter, that is only set to get worse.

Those in current Tier 3 areas are already showing the lowest activity, with residents in Liverpool (5,331) and Manchester (5,115) well below the target.

The importance of remaining active is a message that the team at Powerleague – who run 38 sites across the UK – are keen to reiterate to members of the communities they serve.

Powerleague recently worked with much-loved GP and medical broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones, who advocated for the benefits of small-sided football, and its renewed importance in getting the nation moving again in the wake of lockdown.

Dr Hilary said, “From a health and wellbeing perspective, there are so many benefits to playing small-sided football, both physically and mentally. Duringlockdown, many people will be cooped up, potentially unable to attend gyms, and it’s vitally important that people are able to keep exercising in a safe and secure manner.

Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity at Mind, the mental health charity, also commented on the importance of remaining active for the nation’s mental wellbeing: “We all have mental health just as we have physical health and both are closely linked. Physical activity itself is very beneficial to our mental health. It releases ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins and reduces levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’, which has been linked to a range of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. If you’re more active there’s good evidence to suggest it can also lower your risk of depression by up to 30%. While all forms of exercise can bring benefits for mental wellbeing, many people tell us they benefit from the strong social element and camaraderie of team activities like football.”

Powerleague CEO, Christian Rose, said, “The findings of the research confirm what we feared in many ways, indicating some of the untold negative physical and mental impacts brought about by the pandemic, and the work we as a nation have ahead of us to correct it.

At Powerleague, we are passionate about getting people active, whether that’s at a kid’s birthday party or an over-50s walking football league, and helping them reap the benefits, not only from a physical health perspective, but a mental health perspective as well.”

Since re-opening, Powerleague has also been offering free daytime football for NHS staff, redeemable across all clubs.

At a time when many businesses are sadly closing their doors, Powerleague is investing in the future health and wellbeing of the nation. They recently opened a new site in Harrow and are continuing to offer communities the opportunity to enjoy small-sided football in a safe and secure environment.

For anyone wanting to join Powerleague or book a pitch, visit powerleague.co.uk

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